Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Baggage. We've all got some. And some is better than others.

When we took our trip, I used as a carryon bag a shabby old satchel that my mother'd had for years. Thin, plastic-like material, no internal pouches, four outside ones. I found myself repeatedly burrowing through layers of stuff, looking - where did that pen fall to? Is my passport in this pouch? Damn, I wish I didn't have to open this pouch in public just to see whats in there!

So I came up with a list of what I think a carry-on ought to have. Not traveling much, I doubt we'll buy one any time soon, and if we do, I'm not goign to want to spend the big bucks to get a bag that has all of this. But, here's my thoughts:

1) handles -- two, padded, with a small Velcro strip to optionally bind them together. (Our bag had a thick strip that took about five seconds to peel back. Way too much when all you want is to get in there quickly.)
2) pouches - multiple, different sizes; each with a flap to allow access into the main bag compartment, and each with the ability to be(optionally) sealed shut so that you have to go into the main compartment to unseal it. (This is so that you don't have an easily-opened pouch where someone else can get at it).
3) Clear compartment -- one pouch with a clear wall so that you can see whats in there, for the things you want to find quickly. (So THATS where my passport is!)
4) Zipper handles are big, as is the zipper track itself.
5) Multiple inside pouches, each with a flap to keep small things each in their own place.
6) Velcro loops to hold that camera, water bottle, bulky item.
7) Exterior of rip resistant ballistic nylon.

I think that'll do it.


Vajra said...

I do the Bettie Detwiler Memorial packing and no longer check anything. I carry one 20" Hey's XCase and a camera backpack large enough to hold my cameras, all the lenses I want to take, my iPad, and any other miscellaneous stuff. I'm learning to take ,only things I absolutely need. Since I last traveled, I've purchased a Scottevest coat and jacket which will greatly expand my options as the iPad and iPhone fit easily into the pockets designed for them.

Cerulean Bill said...

I carry more than I did when I was first married -- part of it is the detritus of growing older, and part my wife saying surely you're going to take more than THAT?. If and when we return to France, I'm mulling over mailing our stuff before arrival. Which would help with the airport bag drag, though it'd be fairly expensive. Not to mention, it'd mean we'd have to deal with the French post office -- I'm told that can be a challenge, even for a native.

Once again, I conclude: we all need staff.